Sweden week 2: Gotland, IKEA, Swedish BBQ & Vasa!

Trip Start Aug 19, 2013
Trip End Sep 27, 2013

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 Week 2 in Sweden saw more geocaching (for those unsure of what this is you can have a quick look at: http://www.geocaching.com), an overnight trip to Gotland, a visit to the biggest Ikea store in the world (my first ever visit to Ikea!), a (very cold) Swedish barbeque, & a visit to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. 

Last Thursday (29 Aug) Dane, his parents & I headed south to catch the ferry to Gotland, Sweden's largest island (the Swedish equivalent of Tasmania). We took the car across on the ferry (after a flat tire and frantic tire change just before we reached the ferry terminal) and made our way across the island, collecting geocaches along the way. 

On arrival at our accommodation our cabin keys had been left out for us as the reception was closed because it was now 'off season'! In Sweden (& especially on Gotland) 'on season' is just 4-5 weeks mid summer in July! Dinner was also a challenge; all restaurants were closed for the off season so we got some ingredients from the corner store for some home made pasta in our tiny cabin kitchen.

Friday morning we were up early ready for more geocaching on our trip back across to Visby for the ferry home. Our accommodation reception was still closed & despite a phone call in which they assured us that they would meet us there in 5 minutes so we could pay, no one turned up for half an hour so we left our details & didn't receive a follow up call until the afternoon!

Visby is a gorgeous old town that has historical remains of a 3.4km long ringwall that encircles the town centre, along with beautiful (& narrow) cobble stone roads, old buildings and houses. (See pictures below)

After a morning of geocaching we found a lovely little restaurant for lunch with blanket on the backs of all their chairs for customers to keep themselves warm during the cooler months. Apparently this is common in Sweden but we thought it was awesome & I had to get a photo despite the lovely warm weather. I ordered a pizza which came out far larger than the standard size dinner plate it came on! Lucky Dane was on hand to help me finish it! 

The weekend was spent catching up on sleep, geocaching, & cleaning & re-organising Dane's apartment ready for his bathroom to be finished by the plumber on Monday. His mum & I had a good laugh at all his kitchen gadgets, the best of which has to be a 'potato cleaner' which apparently cleans & peels potatoes (but Dane admits it has hardly been used!).

After my second successful run on the same route earlier in the week, I was a little tempted to try a different route. I didn't need much convincing that sticking with the one I knew was probably the best idea (I get the feeling Dane is not too keen on having to come find me if I get lost!). Sunday we had heavy rain all morning but it had cleared to a perfect sunny day after lunch & I decided an afternoon run at about 4pm would be nice. The first 5 minutes were perfect. The next 10-15 running in a sun shower were also okay, but the 20 minutes home in the pouring rain, whilst making for a memorable run, probably not the nicest one I've been on! I got home soaking wet just as the rain stopped and sun came back out! I rang my clothes out and had to leave my runners outside in the sun for 2 days to dry!

Sunday evening we caught up with Lenka for a 'Swedish barbeque' where we cooked on hot coals in an aluminium tray. Lots of fun but freezing cold once the sun went down!

Monday was an early morning to head down and get all our washing done after our Gotland trip & in preparation for heading to Spain tomorrow. Dane also had the plumber come to finish connecting the toilet, bath & washing machine in his apartment. Very exciting to have a bathroom back after over a year with just an en-suite!

Dane decided that home made gnocchi would be a good idea for dinner (after I'd mentioned in a conversation earlier in the day that I'd tried & failed to make it once before). Both his mum & I tried to convince him that it would be a lot of work & buying pre-made gnocchi would be easier but he was determined to make it himself. It ended up being more difficult and taking longer than I think he expected but it turned out really yummy in the end. After dinner we headed out for some night geocaching. It was heaps of fun using torches to find reflectors hidden in trees in the forest that led along a track to the geocache. (See gnocchi & night geocaching pictures below)

Today (Tuesday 3 Sep) we went back into Stockholm to visit the Vasa Museum. The Vasa was a Swedish warship constructed from 1626 - 1628 that sank on its maiden voyage just a few hundred meters from the shore in August 1628. The wreck was salvaged in 1961 after 333 years under the sea & the reconstructed vessel is now on display at the Vasa Museum. It is a massive & magnificent ship & we all struggled to comprehend how they managed to construct it almost 400 years ago! (See pictures below)

Tonight is packing time as Dane & I are off to Barcelona in the morning. All week we have been talking about how we have to leave here at 7am. Lucky Dane double checked the flight time this morning as it turns out our flight leaves at 7am in the morning! Dane's parent's are giving us a lift to the airport so I'm not sure how impressed they are about our revised leaving time of 4am! However Obama is visiting Sweden tomorrow afternoon so an earlier trip to the airport will hopefully mean a less chaotic one!

Once again big hello & hugs to all, stay tuned for my adventures in Spain! :D



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jill on

awesome pictures Tennille. Glad you are having a great time

Anne Garton on

Hi T, lovely hearing all about your travels. So jealous you are going to Barcelona. I loved it and have fond memories of my time there, enjoy!

Annie on

Hey Tennille, am loving the updates on your trip. Just read about geocaching - sounds like a plan for my boys. The piccies looked great. I did giggle at the one of you all wrapped up against the cold and Dane in a t-shirt. Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing it. Big hug, Annie x

Aleisha on

Sounds like you're having an awesome time! You two look nice and cosy too ;) lol Sounds like you're on to a winner with all the cooking Dane's doing!! It must be a name thing and all Dane's must be good cooks :P That medieval town looked beautiful! btw..is that pizza too big for the table?!?

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